That last bit from the trail is a doozy
Nice hike up, especially when it is not so hot. It is fairly steep throughout, making it a good training hike. The last section up to the peak is loose gravel, and steeper than any other parts. I would definitely recommend this hike for a shorter activity that still has a nice view of Santa Barbara.
Montecito Peak via Cold Spring Trail. We were on the trail by 11:00 and made it to the summit of Montecito Peak by 12:50. After about 5 minutes of admiring the view and taking a few photos, we made our way back down the mountain. About halfway down, we decided to take the ridge trail the rest of the way which is a little more direct but I would not recommend as it is overgrown with brush and tall grass and the trail itself is in poor condition in a few places . Party of 2. 3.5 miles and 1 hour 50 minutes to the summit. 2,450 ft of elevation gain. 6.8 miles and 3 hours 30 minutes round trip. On a hot day, this can be a strenuous hike with little shade, but the Cold Spring Trail is in great condition except for the final 300 feet or so of elevation gain when you turn off the main trail to head to the summit. The views from the top are well worth the trip and the hills were covered in beautiful wildflowers. Hiked with a long sleeve shirt, shorts, and Nathan hydration vest.
Had the place all to myself on a Monday morning, great views!
Great hike and a beautiful drive to get there. We couldn't find "Camino Cielo" so finally drove back down Gibraltar and turned on the road leading to Divide Peak, which didn't have a name. It must've been Camino Cielo because the views were amazing and it led to the Cold Spring trail. There were some rowdy ucsb students on top of the water tower so we didn't see the Cold Spring trail entrance, and went a different way. It was fine, and probably shorter, with more bushwacking. We returned along the Cold Spring trail. Round trip, about 3.8 miles took us 1 hour 20 mins. We were the only ones on the summit. Views were amazing with a little haze around the islands. For reference, we took the "Trip # 1" on summitpost.
Climbed from Santa Barbara pier after tendering ashore from the Crown Princess
During family trip to Santa Barbara area, took advantage of a few hours in the morning to tag this entry on the LPS list. Got to the top right as it started getting hot. Enjoyed the nice views, with coastal fog clearing out below. Ran back. Definitely worth a visit when in the area.
Quick hike from Cold Spring Saddle after Cathedral Peak earlier. Afterwards, drove along Camino Cielo to Rt. 154 en route to Cachuma Mountain. Great road!
Climbed this with son Christopher -- used to climb often back when I lived in Santa Barbara. This is where I want my ashes scattered.
With brother Ron and sister Michele. Trip Report
Took the West Cold Springs Trail up and the East Cold Springs Trail down. Nice trail, but it could use a few more signs, but we found our way around OK. Great views from the summit, as it was pretty clear, and could see the Channel Islands.
Hiked it with my family from Cielo as the cloud cover lifted with impressive views of the Channel Islands. Peak is obvious high point and the use trail we took, started right as you curve around the back of the peak.
The high cloud cover kept us from seeing the view, which almost seemed like a let down. Regardless, the entire experience was really fun, and that's what makes this an epic trail.
My girlfriend and I had planned to hike Montecito peak for some time. We had only begun hiking regularly when we got together so this was our training goal for some time.
We took the bottom route climbing all the way up from Cold Spring trailhead. Most of the Santa Barbara hiking guides and websites list the trail as 9 mi round trip from here. I've done enough 7 mi hikes to feel that 9 mi is accurate, but I'll have to confirm before posting a correction.
Most of the hike past the normal cold spring loop is very consistently graded. Basically a long but pleasurable stroll up and up and up above the coastal area. It was cloudy at the time so it was nice to start in the muck and climb above the clouds.
The only real challenge was the 500' scramble at the end. That was our first scramble and was a huffing-puffing affair. I was so beat at the top I managed to leave my pack open and lose my wallet somewhere near the summit. (which I only had with me because I needed to buy cat food on the way back)
When I discovered my missing wallet at the trailhead I was NOT pleased and was NOT about to hike back up there, even if it had my tickets for the just release Pirates of the Carribean 3... We started at 8 or 9 and luckily had plenty of time to make some signs, get cat food, clean up, buy more tickets and make the matinée.
Thankfully someone found my wallet and sent most of the contents along shortly.
I've hiked this peak many times and there are great views from the top of this one. One nice variation is to tag the peak on the way to Camino Cielo, then head across the road and down the San Ysidro trail, finally looping back to Cold Springs trail through Hot Springs canyon on the Edison road.
One of the first peaks I did in this region when I moved here. Loved this peak and range. The views are pretty insane around here.